When it was all over, Cowboys running back Tashard Choice was just like any other fan, hoping to get an autograph from Michael Vick. (For his nephew.) Vick can have that effect on his opponents.
This is how far the Eagles offense has come: They scored 30 points in what felt like a “B” effort from Vick. The Cowboys knocked Vick around in a 30-27 Eagles win, yet he scored three times. Ultimately, the game helped confirm a lot of previously held beliefs:
1. The Eagles offense is a lot more balanced than you think. After getting the ball with 4:22 left in the fourth quarter, LeSean McCoy essentially ran the four-minute drill by himself. He picked up four first downs to kill the clock and wound up with 149 yards on the ground.
It’s remarkable how the Eagles have seamlessly replaced Brian Westbrook with a new model, like they called 1-800-Scat-back. (Yeah, that’s too many letters and McCoy is more than a scat back. It’s late.) McCoy needs to go to the Pro Bowl.
2. The Cowboys continued to play hard for Jason Garrett. They give better effort, but their secondary still gives up too many big plays. The offense did well considering they struggled on the ground and Jon Kitna doesn’t often go vertical. They are maxing out their potential and will be dangerous in Week 17 when they head to Philly.
3. Vick threw two interceptions, although one was on a dropped pass. He only ran for 16 yards (including a touchdown), perhaps a reflection of all the hits he took. Vick continues to get pounded by defenders. The Cowboys at least slowed him down with this approach. (He still threw for 270 yards on 26 attempts.)
Can Vick survive a long playoff run taking this many hits?
4. The Eagles are going to have to keep scoring like crazy because the defense is springing leaks. Linebacker Stewart Bradley left the game with a dislocated elbow. Coach Andy Reid confirmed Bradley is likely out for the year. Defensive end Brandon Graham left with a knee injury and didn’t return.
5. No matter what you think of DeSean Jackson’s touchdown celebrations (his effort Sunday night was so cold even Al Michaels had to laugh), the kid is unlike any other pro. Jackson put up 210 yards on only four catches. He took a simple out route 91 yards. It’s just so tough to defend this offense.
This game was just an appetizer for the Eagles. They can take charge of the NFC East in next week’s must-see matchup against the Giants.
Tashard Choice should set the DVR early.